Secrets to Success

Deborah Cole Micek

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Building a Net biz
from the ground up

'Will business ownership ever get easier?" asked Patience, a new business owner of six months.

"It seems I can't work long enough hours to get everything done!" she lamented during her initial screening to receive coaching services.

This feeling is one of the most common complaints business owners face. It seems more intensified when they're running an Internet business.

Entrepreneurs who have a vision of what their Internet business will look like once it gets launched are usually in it for the long haul.

Every once and a while, these business owners have a moment of weakness when they wistfully think back to the days when life was much simpler, when they worked for someone else and has a steady paycheck.

What can Internet entrepreneurs do to get through the beginning stages of small business ownership? Lets explore this through an analogy I used to help Patience.

Think of your Internet business in a more tangible sense.

If you compare each step of developing your Internet business to building an actual, brick and mortar building, you'll walk away with fresh understanding of all that's involved.

Setting up your infrastructure and systems is just like laying the foundation for a building. Calculate how long this process would take you in "the real world," and you'll know how much time needs to be reserved to lay the proper foundation in the cyber world.

Think of each brick as a critical component. Laying it properly along with the other bricks ensures your business will be around for a long time to come once you get it up and running.

Just like building a store in your community, the foundation and the framing takes time. Sometimes it may seem like "forever" until you actually see some progress being made.

Once the walls go up and the painting begins, you gain hope. Finally you're able to begin decorating to attract people into your store.

Not until the store is built and the walls are painted can you get merchandise from vendors in order to deliver products to your community.

This is when the fun and momentum builds as you stock your shelves with delicacies that other people want.

You'll want to have the systems put in place that will be useful for running the business before your shelves are full. Systems such as your Web site, logo, sales copy, marketing materials -- all designed to get people clamoring to your store to see what all the buzz is all about.

Finally, you'll be able to put your "open" sign on your door. The line of people who know you exist by now can come on in and shop around.

Coaching tip: The most important component of building an Internet business is similar to building a physical store or home. Have a blueprint before you break ground.

Every time I share this analogy, people develop an entirely new perspective on how they view their start-up companies. This shift motivates them to continue on, even during the darkest days.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

John-Paul Micek is a small-business strategist
and chief operating officer at RPM Success Group.
Reach him at
or toll-free at (888) 334-8151.

Deborah Cole Micek, chief executive officer
of RPM Success Group, is a business success coach
and life strategist. Reach her at
or (888) 334-8151.


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